Andrzej Wajda Retrospective
Several months ago, we lost the great director Andrzej Wajda, one of the greatest personalities in Polish cinema. Cinematek, Flagey and the Polish Institute are holding a retrospective of eight of his films which played an important role in his career, drawing a line from his first film Pokolenie (A Generation) to the film which he beqeathed to us this year, Powidoki (Afterimage), premiering on 13 March 2017 at Flagey. The other films are:
- Człowiek z marmuru (Man of Marble)
- Panny z Wilka (The Maids of Wilko)
- Człowiek z żelaza (Man of Iron)
- Les Possédés
- Wałęsa. Człowiek z nadziei (Walesa. Man of Hope)
+++ This retrospective will be accompanied by the photo exhibition "ANDRZEJ WAJDA" by the Polish photographer Czesław Czapliński. The exhibition will be shown at Studio 5 in Flagey. Courtesy of the European Economic and Social Committee.
>>> Flagey (Place sainte-croix, 1050 Brussels), Studio 5 – see MAP
>>> Tuesday 7 March 2017 > Wednesday 17 May 2017
>>> €7 | €5,50
Pokolenie (A Generation)
A young worker joins the communist resistance fighting the Nazi occupier. He moves very swiftly from theory to action but cannot avoid clashing with the movement’s pro-British fringe. Wajda’s first feature-length film is already clearly centred around essential themes, notably the ideological fault lines which run through Polish society.
cast: Tadeusz Łomnicki, Ursula Modrzińska, Tadeusz Janczar
Człowiek z marmuru (Man of Marble)
20 years after the erection of his statue, a young filmmaker wishes to film a portrait of Birkut, the model worker. "Eastern cinema had never before dared to tackle this taboo subject: the falsification of facts by official History." (F. Forestier).
cast: Jerzy Radziwiłowicz, Krystyna Janda, Tadeusz Łomnicki
Panny z Wilka (The Maids of Wilko)
A Chekhovian autumnal and nostalgic meditation about how the years and boredom wash things away and beautiful women one once loved. Here, we discover a more poetic Wajda on the theme of the vain pursuit of lost time.
cast: Daniel Olbrychski
Człowiek z żelaza (Man of Iron)
During the strikes held at the Gdansk shipyards at the beginning of the 1980’s, Maciej Tomczyk, a worker marked by the death of his father, stands up for social rights. A thinly-veiled hagiography of Lech Wałęsa.
This film is the sequel to Man of Marble.
Cast: Jerzy Radziwiłowicz, Krystyna Janda, Marian Opania
>>> FR, PL/1982/colour/136'/st:NL
In 1794, whilst the French revolution is grappling with serious problems (First Coalition, various counter-revolutions), Danton is opposed to the violence of Robespierre. With lucidity, Wajda, using the case of the orator, takes apart the eternal mechanics of political trials.
cast: Gérard Depardieu, Wojciech Pszoniak, Angela Winkler, Patrice Chéreau
>>> FR, PL/1987/colour/116'/st:NL
In 1870’s Russia, a group of nihilist revolutionaries decide to make their union irreversible by committing a sacrificial act. Dostoevsky’s apocalyptic novel was shot in France and transformed into a prestigious film made by Wajda.
cast: Lambert Wilson, Jerzy Radziwiłowicz, Isabelle Huppert, Omar Sharif, Bernard Blier
Wałęsa. Człowiek z nadziei (Walesa. Man of Hope)
60 years after he began his career, Wajda is still talking about resistance, but, as historical irony has it, this time it’s about the trade union’s battle against communism. Centred around the interview with Lech Wałęsa by the Italian journalist Oriana Falacci, this enlightening film plunges the viewer into a time when Solidarność was emerging, a new force which was set to topple the Polish political checkerboard and wipe out the Eastern European regimes.
cast: Robert Więckiewicz, Agnieszka Grochowska, Iwona Bielska
+++ Find out more about this film
In post-war Poland, the famous painter Władysław Strzemiński taught at the Lodz Academy of Fine Arts. He had achieved notoriety before the world war broke out due to his nature and the ‘unist’ movement which he helped to found. His students continued to regard him as the "saviour of modern painting" but the Ministry of Culture took an entirely different view. Unlike his counterparts who had complied with the party line and accepted the principles of socialist realism, Strzemiński refused to compromise when it came to his art. He refused to follow party orders, which led to him being expelled from the university and the Union of Artists. In spite of this, his students continued to visit him and take private lessons with him. They noted his theory of vision and set great store by his opinion on their work. Yet Strzemiński, who lost an arm and a leg, and who subsequently found himself without a source of income, slipped into severe poverty and his health declined. This did not prevent the communist authorities from continuing to work on ruining him.
cast: Bogusław Linda, Zofia Wichłacz, Bronisława Zamachowska, Andrzej Konopka, Krzysztof Pieczyński, Mariusz Bonaszewski, Szymon Bobrowski, Aleksander Fabisiak